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The Pearl Paperback – April 6, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 3,015 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[The Pearl] has the distinction and sincerity that are evident in everything he writes.”—The New Yorker

“Form is the most important thing about him. It is at its best in this work.” —Commonweal

“[Steinbeck has] long trained his prose style for such a task as this: that supple unstrained, muscular power, responsive to the slightest pull of the reins.”—Chicago Sunday Times

About the Author

John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929).

After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933), and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938). Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). The Grapes of Wrath won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.

Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker with The Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-novelette The Moon is Down (1942). Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright (1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history.

The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely. Later books include Sweet Thursday (1954), The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957), Once There Was a War (1958), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962), America and Americans (1966), and the posthumously published Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters (1969), Viva Zapata! (1975), The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976), and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989).

Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books; 1st edition (April 6, 2000)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 90 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 014017737X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0140177374
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1010L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.01 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.3 x 4.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,015 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
3,015 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Worldtrekker
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard work but worth it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2019
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Angharad
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Poignant.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 22, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Poignant.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 22, 2021
This is such a superbly written, moralistic little novella and I truly cannot recommend it enough.

I found Steinbeck’s writing to be beautiful, and it definitely made for a thoroughly engaging and easy read. I found the plot to be, while simple, fast paced and in keeping with Steinbeck‘s support of the oppressed. Kino’s storyline is a brilliant portrayal of love, friendship and finding what it means to be happy.

This Penguin Clothbound Classic edition is so very charming. It feels sturdy in hand, is made of great quality materials and looks delightful. Coralie Bickford-Smith is a true genius when it comes to cover design.
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Richard Barber
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful. Moving. Genius
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2019
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 20, 2019
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Sarugumo
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pearl
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2009
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